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The Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) is a partnership between the Australian Government, ten Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) and their African-based partners, including NGOs, government counterparts and local communities.
The funding we receive under the AACES project is used to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning services to marginalised communities in Kenya and Tanzania. We also work to empower communities to build on existing strengths, assets and resources and provide solutions to their own problems and challenges.
The AACES 2012-2013 annual report’s key focus and theme for 2012-2013 is “Advancing Disability-Inclusive Development”. It highlights our major achievements in maternal and child health, with particular attention to our provision of services to people living with disability.
We reached marginalised and disabled communities through a combination of Youth Peer Educators, Disability Advisors and through the provision of education material specific to young and disabled people.
Photo by Marie Stopes Tanzania
Through outreach to rural and remote communities in Tanzania in the second year of AACES, Marie Stopes Tanzania provided more than 26,000 women and 511 men with modern family planning services and provided voluntary counselling and testing for HIV to 7205 women and 408 men.
Adeline Anselim, the District Reproductive Health Coordinator for Mafia, a small island in the Indian Ocean, said, ‘It is unbelievable, I was not expecting any NGO to conduct an outreach visit to our island, which has a lot of challenges, especially the infrastructure.
“Thank you Marie Stopes International for visiting our island to provide family planning services to our communities and skill building to our staff for more than three weeks.”
In Kenya, we partnered with the Kenya Association for the Intellectually Handicapped and the Kenya Association of the Blind to design informational and educational materials suitable for people with disability. Consequently, more than 3000 people with disability have better access to information on sexual and reproductive health and 900 people with disability were referred for sexual reproductive health and family planning services. We also engaged a disability coordinator (who has a visual impairment) to better understand and meet the needs of people with disability.
Photo by Bertrand Guillemont / Marie Stopes Kenya
Marie Stopes Kenya provided family planning services to 15,000 women and 286 men in the second year of AACES, an increase of more than 30 per cent on the previous year.
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